Vimto-maker Nichols, based in Merseyside, said its half-year profits surged almost 200% as it reported a strong recovery from the effects of the pandemic. Tony McDonough reports
Vimto maker Nichols is reporting a surge in its half-year profits of 193.4% to £8.6m as it record a strong recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.
The profit figure, for the six months to June 30, was set against the same period last year which included the first pandemic lockdown in the UK. This saw a complete shutdown of hospitality venues, hitting Vimto sales hard.
Revenues for the latest six-month period also saw a healthy bounce back of 13.8% to £67.4m at Merseyside-based Nichols. It said the Vimto brand continued to perform strongly in all of its markets.
In the UK the Vimto brand value increased by 2.7%1. In Africa, the Middle East, Europe and the US it continued to see significant progress year on year, with international revenues increasing 42.3% versus the prior year.
Nichols sells Vimto and other soft drinks brands, including Feel Good, Starslush, ICEE, Levi Roots and Sunkist, across the UK and to 85 countries across the world. Vimto is particularly popular in the Muslim world during the holy month of Ramadan. Vimto provides a quick boost of sugar-filled energy following the dawn ’til dusk fast.
Last year, stock market-listed Nichols took the biggest hit in its UK ‘out of home’ market. This refers to sales of its products in hospitality outlets such as cafes, bars and hotels. For much of 2020, such businesses were either closed due to lockdown or saw footfall severely restricted.
Nichols chairman John Nichols said: “The continued strong performance of the Vimto brand, the group’s robust balance sheet and our diversified business model has ensured a resilient financial performance in the period with growth across each of our reporting segments.
“The UK Government’s planned roadmap out of lockdown continues and although at a more cautious pace than originally planned, the group’s positive start to the year means that we remain confident that it will achieve the board’s expectations for the year.
“Longer term, the board is currently assessing the impact of inflationary pressures affecting logistics, labour, plastics and costs associated with increasing environmental legislation.”